"Hey, I can do that!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ganache: Completed

Cake Covered with Ganache
(+5 skill points -> 210/400)

This cake was just for fun and to practice using ganache.  That's why it looks like Captain Obvious decorated it.

  • 7" round
  • Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake box mix
  • filled and iced with semi-sweet ganache
  • covered in MMF
This cake mix was great.  I baked a 7" and an 8" round at the same time.  The 8" was done after 1 hour and 25 minutes, but the 7" was still goey inside.  Poking it made it deflate in the center.  It finished baking another 15-20 minutes later.


The cakes baked up nice and firm.  The edges looked amazingly clean.


Here you can see how the center fell ... when I leveled it there was a little hole on the top.  It leveled and torted nicely though.  I did put too much batter in and it overflowed while baking.  It was a nice 3" tall after leveling.


I was researching how to make ganache (see previous post here).  For this I tried a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream.  This is a 12 oz. bag of Nestle semi-sweet morsels with 6 oz. of heavy whipping cream.


The cream was put in a saucepan over medium heat until it started to lightly boil.


The hot cream was poured over the morsels in a pyrex bowl.  Let it stand for at least a minute before stirring.


I stirred for a while but wasn't able to get all the lumps out.  Nuking it for 30 seconds helped me smooth it out some more.


I covered it with plastic wrap, letting it cling to the surface of the ganache.  It wasn't very hot, but I let it set and cool for a couple hours before using it.


Filling and icing the cake was a cinch.  The ganache went on smooth.  It was the consistency of ... oh I dunno ... maybe slightly warm tub icing?  It wouldn't stand up if you peaked it, but it wasn't exactly runny either.  Nice ... thick ... chocolate ... mmm ...


I smoothed it with my spatulas like I would do regularly with buttercream.  It's a pretty thin layer.  I'm concerned about the taste ... maybe there isn't enough ganache?  Or maybe the ganache is strong enough tasting that it is just the right amount ... I won't know until tomorrow when I bring the cake to work.


The motivation for trying ganache was to help make my fondant-covered cakes look cleaner.  It worked like a charm!  I refrigerated the cake for maybe 45 minutes.  The chocolate firmed up, but wasn't hard.  I brushed on some piping gel around the edges and on the top so the fondant would have something to stick to.  I rolled out 14" of white MMF.  It went on like a dream ... I even used my smoother in motions I only had seen on videos until now.  Usually the smoother gets icing on it or doesn't glide along the fondant well ... but this time I looked like a pro. 


Best looking cake I've ever done.




Let's compare it to earlier work, shall we?  Here are the 2 rounds covered in MMF that I did for Aunt Mimi's birthday cake:

Lumpy, lumpy, lumpy!  I'm going ganache and never turning back.  I might try different ratios ... maybe white chocolate ganache ...

I still have to try putting ganache over buttercream ... that might be my next experiment.  The ganache needs to be warm enough to be pourable, but cool enough to not melt the buttercream.

This was pretty much an all win cake, especially since it was just for practice.  I'll tell you later how it tasted ...





UPDATE (12/08/09): I brought the cake to work. It looked and tasted great! The ganache filling looked so nice and even. It tasted not too sweet and not too bitter.

Co-worker praise:
Very tasty and looks great. Getting the fondant that smooth is difficult.

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